The Wrap – October 12, 2018

The latest phone from Google as Pixel 3 arrives, Dyson’s big deal in hair science, and what’s coming Epson, Osmo, and Nokia. It’s a fully packed Wrap.

Transcript

For the week ending October 12, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and as another week in October ends, we’re talking about another phone or two.

If you didn’t jump onto the Apple bandwagon recently, there’s a good chance you were waiting for what Google had to offer, because it was one of the big announcements at this half of the year.

And now we know everything, which is more or less spot on with what was leaked over the past few months.

Just like last year, there are two Google Pixel 3 phones, and while one has a 5.5 inch screen while the bigger XL gets a 6.3 inch display, they are largely the same.

There’s a fast Snapdragon processor, the latest version of Android, and a choice of either 64 or 128GB of storage, as well as a big emphasis on the camera.

You probably already know that the smartphone camera is a major battleground for smartphones, and this year we’ve seen some pretty strong competition here. There’s Samsung’s dual aperture technology in the S9+ and the Note 9, Huawei’s three camera tech in the P20 Pro, and Apple’s zero lag camera with stronger colour in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and now Google has something else.

It’s not just another lens or another camera. Instead, the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL rely heavily on artificial intelligence, using one camera to do the job of several. It will zoom using resolution enhancement and stack images for night-time shots.

And while there’s only one camera on the back, there are two front cameras to let you get wider images.

With decent specs, the new Pixels look interesting, but in a year of some truly great phones, it has some steep competition, and we’re a little confused by the 64 and 128GB storage options.

We get that Google is an online company, and so your photos will be stored in the cloud on Google Photos, but a 64GB starting point isn’t easy. At least the pricing is more economical than some of the phones we’ve seen recently, landing for a starting price of $1199 when it arrives in early November.

Before then, there will be other products, gadgets, and patches on things you know.

For instance, if you have a Windows PC and an Android phone, you’ll be able to connect the two very, very shortly with the next Windows 10 update.

Nokia will have an Android phone next week, and it’s one with a mostly full screen. It’s not quite a Google Pixel, but it has a pure Android experience, a screen that supports high dynamic range images and videos, and costs just under $500.

Osmo offered up a neat concept for kids, with an iPad-connected gadget that allows kids to interact with the iPad by way of a small camera and some neat toys. For instance, they can draw on a whiteboard and it will appear in the app, or they can arrange letters and solve puzzles in app. Or more interestingly, they can learn to code, with Osmo bringing yet another set of coding lessons for kids, joining Sphero, Lego, and a whole heap of others.

Epson has made a scanner the sort of thing that summer projects were meant for, building a photo scanner capable of taking all those lovely 6 by 4 postcard-sized photos from your family scrapbook and scan them into your computer. It’s coming in the aptly named Fast Foto, and it can scan a photo every second. If you have 300 photos, that’s 300 seconds of easy scanning in a device that costs a little under $800.

And there’s also what Dyson had to offer this week, combining the science of airflow with drying technologies to come up with something balding people like myself are sure to be jealous of.

It’s called the Dyson Airwrap, and it’s essentially one of Dyson’s air multipliers in a handheld stick. It’s one that uses a principle called the Coanda Effect, which basically allows airflow to follow the shape of a surface it’s projected on.

And that means Dyson’s Airwrap projects heated air around the Airwrap’s design, which looks vaguely like a lightsabre. Except this is no weapon, and instead will be used to curl or straighten hair, projecting hot air that isn’t too hot so it doesn’t burn your hair.

It’s about the latest technology, and it’s Dyson doing what it does best: finding a solution rto something using science that no one has really thought of. That said, while long flowing hair is the focus, Dyson’s Airwrap could also work on a long flowing beard, or a mustache, or an English Setter. The dog. It just needs hair.

And this show needs time, which we are sadly out of.

But you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One, Apple Podcasts, and Pickr.com.au, and it will return next week for more technology in practically no time.

Until then, have a brilliant week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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